Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spring, Hurry up and get here. Please.

Earlier this week we had a "warm" spell. It was in the 40s. Glorious! The warmer temperatures, combined with some rain, and the foot or so of snow on the ground mostly all melted away. I knew it was too good to last.

As I write this, snow is starting to fall outside my window. There are a number of things that I'd like to get done outside at home, but it's always dark, too cold, or everything is covered in snow. Blech. And I continue to have spring fever.

Even though I know it won't truly warm up for 3-4 more months I've started to plan my garden. I've run into issues in the past where I've put it off and things I've wanted to order have been sold out. So over the past couple of weeks (inspired by some emails I've received) I planned out my garden and placed a number of orders. We still have work to do prepping the ground (building beds, etc) but all of the plants and seeds have been ordered. And according to UPS tracking, the seeds should be coming to my house today.

I've ordered tomato, asparagus, rhubarb, and strawberry plants and lots of seeds-
Four o'clocks (never heard of these before, but they looked pretty)
Mesclun mix
Sweet peppers

Wow, that's a lot of stuff! And most of it will go into 4 4x4 foot beds. The asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb will be going into a larger bed along the porch. And the flowers- haven't really decided. A few here, a few there. And maybe some of the herbs will end up in pots as well. All I know if I've got my work cut out for me with seed starting. Hopefully I'll have better luck than I've had in the past.

Thoughts on a Thursday

Today's post is all about knitting. As many of them have been lately. I don't really understand why I'm so much into knitting all of a sudden, but it all started right after Christmas when I saw a knitting calendar with a pattern for cookies. Then that led to the penguin hat also in the calendar. And I wanted to make something to give along with the hat, which led to the monster booties (and another secret project). And along the way there were vegetables and fingerless gloves. And my latest internet addiction- Ravelry. This led to elf slippers and the desire to order lots and lots of yarn. Yup. I have a problem.

My scrapping, however, has been sorely neglected. I still have a couple of layouts to do for my 2008 album. Plus their are the 2008 vacation (Acadia) and Christmas albums. For 2009, I think I've only done 2 or 3 layouts. So not only is there the normal album, but there's also the England album. And although I did start it, I never did finish the 2009 Cookie Baking cookbook. Yup. I'm rather behind. With little chance of being caught up. Blech.

We have company coming on Saturday which means that the rest of the week needs to be spent cleaning and getting ready for that. But all I want to do is go home and finish knitting an eggplant.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Busy weekend

This weekend's knitting projects included these elf slippers, making cases for my double pointed needles, and starting to make a bunch of grapes.

I found the pattern for the slippers on Ravelry on Friday, bought the yarn on Saturday, and finished them up Sunday evening. Kind of funny because earlier in the week I had been discussing slippers with someone at work and we mentioned elf slippers. So I think these will have to go in to work when they are done. And there was some leftover yarn that I figured was grape colored, so I started to make some fruit.

I went with a pattern that I had for Halloween eyeballs and used that for my first grape. It turned out a bit large, so I left out an increase and a few extra rows and I think the smaller size will be fine. Then I made the stem out of some yarn leftover from Tucker. I have 7 more grapes to make for this bunch, but I think it may be part of an even larger bunch of grapes. That will have to wait to see.

And for the knitting needle cases, I started them a few weeks ago. Actually, the project is even older than that. I think it was last spring when I decided that I wanted to make the cases. But this afternoon I finished them up. Sorry, no picture to share of those.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello, Pink.

Finished up my fingerless gloves over the weekend. I think I should have made them a size smaller. they seem a little baggy. However, they also fit well over bulky clothes, so maybe it was the right size. Maybe it's just a yarn without a lot of elasticity. The photo of my left hand looks a little wonky, but that's just because of my sweatshirt sleeve and my watch underneath the glove.

And they are working. My finger tips are sometimes still a little chilly, but in general I am feeling that they are a lot warmer. And my hands are ALWAYS cold!

Someone at work saw them today and commented that it they weren't pink they might look somewhat Austen-ish. Or maybe he said Dickensian. Either way, they kind of fit into those periods.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I need to learn to read knitting patterns better. I have a project I'm currently working on, and I keep messing up. My most recent mistake was following the directions for a Medium size, when, in fact, I'm making a large. No wonder it seemed wrong. Guess tonight I'll have to rip out a section and get that fixed. And this isn't the first time I've made a similar mistake. At least I'm getting practice with picking up a row of stitches.

Weekend recap

Chris and I went to the Museum of Science on Saturday. We went for the Harry Potter exhibit. I didn't think I would be that impressed by it, but I loved seeing all of the costumes and seeing the details of them.

We also looked around the rest of the museum. Well, not all of the museum, because it's huge. And I saw this sign. Obviously it humored me, since I pulled out my camera in the ladies room.

In knitting news, I finished up my fingerless gloves. Need to get a picture of them. Not really all that special, but useful since my hands get chilly.

I also put a number of my past projects up on Ravelry.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Derby Planning, already?

I'm not entirely sure why, but today I seem to have the Pinewood Derby on my brain. I guess it started out when I was browsing a baking website and I started to look at their chocolate molds to find car designs. And then I started thinking about decorations so I went to Oriental Trading. And then since I was looking at all this other Derby stuff, I may as well go ahead and order the trophies.

So we don't even have a date for the Derby, but the trophies are ordered. (I went with a slightly different design this year. Sent 2 pics to Chris and let him choose.) For now, I resisted ordering other things. But I've found that if I wait too long the racecar stuff will sell out at Oriental Trading.

Back before Christmas the Georgia family members were asking us when the Derby would be. We don't know. We still don't know. I understand their reasoning for asking- they want to come up to visit and need to request time off at work and they want to come for the Derby. I think that's great that they want to be here for the Derby, but our brains can't plan a party like this 6-8 months in advance! Even picking a date 3-4 months in advance seems super early to me.

But for those who must know, I'm kind of leaning towards early August. Or possibly late June. Two very different times, but that's what's going through my brain these days.
Took a break from a longer knitting project last night to start another. Initially I was just planning to look at what yarns I would need to buy for a couple of projects. But then I remembered one that I had already that I thought might work fora project. So I started knitting fingerless gloves. This is key because my hands get really cold. Especially in my craft room where my only source of warmth is a space heater, which doesn't get turned on until I get home from work. If I'm lucky, they'll knit up quickly.

Also got a couple of gifts boxed up and ready to mail. I had meant to take better pictures of them, but I forgot. I guess I'll have to ask the recipient to do that for me. At least that way they can be modeled, which is even better.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Over the weekend we were in Target and I tried out Burt's Bees Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Creme. since it was so cold out, when we left, I put my gloves on. Now, whenever I put my gloves on, I smell honey. Love that!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

House decorating

Back in either late November or early December I decided that I wanted to make a gingerbread house. I figured this would be a fun activity to share with our friends. Well due to scheduling, we couldn't get together until this past Saturday. So we decorated houses and then had a re-gift Yankee Swap.

It's funny, because when we had the supplies on our counter in the kitchen it didn't look like we had all that much. So we asked people to bring some candy to share. Wow, when it all was on the table, it was apparent that we had more than enough!

To allow time for the houses to set up before decorating, Chris and I made the basic house shape in advance. And we used graham crackers since I figured it would be easier than baking enough gingerbread to make 17 houses. So we started putting them together on Friday night. And we soon discovered that two boxes of graham crackers weren't enough, so we finished them up on Saturday morning after a trip to the grocery store. And in the end, 2 people were unable to make it, which was probably a good thing as the house was pretty full with 15 people (6 of them being kids).

We started off the evening with dinner. I think in Chris' and my minds we were thinking we would start with decorating and people could eat whenever, but as it turned out, we ate and then decorated. Back at the end of December I had come across this recipe for mini ham and cheese sandwiches. I thought they sounded good, but was also somewhat skeptical. But we gave them a try, and they were delicious! A little greasy/buttery, but very good. We knew those wouldn't be enough, so we also had salad and pizza. We recently discovered the BEST pizza ever. Papa John's BBQ Chicken with Bacon. Amazing! Normally it comes with onions, but we have a number of non-onion people, so we got it without. Still very good. That pizza went quickly.

For one family, this was their first time coming to one of our game nights. They commented that they found it amusing that we essentially hosted a kids' party when we don't have kids. Hey, we like to do fun "kids" activities. :) Besides, I've found that sometimes it's better to include the kids if not having them there would mean that the parents are unable to come due to lack of babysitters, etc. So the kids come and they run around the house, play games, watch movies, etc.

And it's not like we ignore the kids. Kristin was the first of the adults to finish decorating her house. Probably because she wasn't busy helping the kids with theirs. So when she was done she started playing with the kids. It seems their game was to all hold onto her legs as she tried to walk.

We rounded out the evening with a Yankee Swap. For the most part it was a re-gift Yankee Swap, but I think there were a couple of items purchased especially for the event. I think one of the "best" gifts was a small glass plate etched with an image of The Last Supper. But the best part of it was when Caitlyn referred to it as "Thanksgiving". Her mom then responded that she thought they needed to get to church a little more often.

So to wrap this up, here are some more pictures of the houses.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

I guess I'm just not meant to blog all that frequently. I'd like to get back into it, but I seem to lack topics to blog about. And this post is all over the place as I play catch-up with everything.

I took some vacation days and was off of work from Christmas Eve until yesterday. It's a bit of a shock to the system to get back into things. While I was off I did a whole lot of nothing. And I loved it!

I watched a lot of movies and some TV shows. Serenity, A Knight's Tale, (yes, we started with an Alan Tudyk theme) Troy, There Will be Blood, Four Christmases, Nobel Son, Surviving Christmas, Lost in Austen, Dangerous Beauty, Picture Perfect, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Harry Potter 1-6, the final episode from season one and the pilot of Dollhouse, and Buffy, season one and 15 episodes of season two. Plus we went out and saw Sherlock Holmes. Our Netflix account definitely got a workout!!!

I knit. And I knit some more. (Basically I spent my time knitting and watching movies.) This included 2 chocolate chip cookies, an oreo, a sugar cookie, and a peanut blossom, all on a plate and with a matching mug of milk. To combat that sugar, I made 2 sugar snap peas- one with a closed pod and the other pod open with 3 peas in it. (Not sure why the pattern for the open pod is about half the size of the closed pod.) Then for clothes I made a quick black and white hat and then have started a couple of other projects.

I bought new ice skates and Chris even humored me and went to the rink with me one day. Although he won't readily admit it, I think he had fun. He didn't fall and was actually skating away from the wall for a while. If only they actually sharpened rental skates, he might have done even better.

Had a scrap night with Kelly. I had grand ambitions of working on my Acadia album from when we were there in 2008. Instead I spent the night helping Kelly with her album. And we got 12 pages done, finishing up DJ's first year of life!

In other Christmas relatedness....

I was a little late getting the decorations up, but about halfway through the month things finally got spruced up. Due to various other scheduling I imagine decorations will be up through the end of January.

We had survived Cookie Baking. We cut back the number of recipes and stretched it over the weekend. We also did gifts over the weekend, thus eliminating the need to schedule another event. I still need to finish making the cookbook.

On Christmas Day, Mom came over and we had a nice meal, gifts, etc. Then that evening we went and saw Sherlock Holmes.

Coming up... on Saturday we're having friends over to make gingerbread houses and do a re-gift Yankee Swap.

Coming up.... Jan 30th getting together with my mom's extended family for our "Christmas" gathering. A turducken is in my future...

Other December activities included a Lost and Found concert. Hard to believe that I've been following them around for 16 years now! Michael (frizzy hair on my right) and his wife had a baby recently so I gave him a little sweater that I had knit. When George had his girls they got dresses, so it was only fair. Plus it was a sweater I had originally planned for a baby boy I know, but it ended up looking too girly.

We shoveled snow a couple of times. And then when we came back from Cookie Baking to 8 inches of snow in the driveway, our next door neighbor asked us if we wanted the number of his plow guy. Um, yes, please. He's now saved in my phone as "plow guy". :) While waiting for the plow guy I looked out the window and saw this fabulous sunset. (The snow picture is from our commute in to work earlier in December.)

In other news, I got new glasses. Not very exciting, but in mid-December I realized I had about $400 left in my FSA. Since it's a use it or loose it kind of thing, I figured since I hated my old glasses, this would be a good way to use up the money. Hopefully these will stay on my head better than my old glasses.
What was weird though, is when I went in to pick out my frames, the saleswoman remembered my name. I hadn't been there since the summer! She said she remembered the fun colors of my hair.

And at the beginning of December Chris once again had a table at Good Shepherd's Craft Faire. Pictured here is only about half of his inventory. He's done really well this year, especially with his Etsy store.